— Martin O'Loughlin (@martinol) December 5, 2021
A lot has changed in between these two photos. The year after the first one was taken, Bennett went to the Tour de France for the first time in his career, abandoning in the Alps on stage 17 while last on GC.
The year after he made it all the way to Paris, last on GC, but with a ninth place on the Champs-Élysées to show for it. In 2017, he won his first WorldTour race, a stage of Paris-Nice, before in 2018 he finally got that maiden Grand Tour win at the Giro. By Rome, he had his second and third stage wins too. Last year, two stages of the Tour de France and green jersey followed.
Even after the year he's had and off to Bora in 2022, Bennett is taking no chances with that Deceuninck-Quick-Step kit...
SPOOF ALERT: This is a comic film and events fictitious. But has serious message about failings of cycling law. Please watch and sign our petition @Iromg @cristo_radio @Sueperb2 @JeremyClarkson @theJeremyVine #cycling https://t.co/mJTs4R9eBn pic.twitter.com/IPLCAqZc4R
— Nick Freeman (@TheMrLoophole) December 5, 2021
I apologise in advance for what you're about to see/read...we did warn you Mr Loophole is back for more...
Sporting a festive pair of antlers (granted, it would be weirder if they weren't festive), Loophole rolled into shot after a fictitious bike ride before setting off on a rant about all things cycling..."I went through a school area, 60mph on this bike. 20mph speed limit because it's near a school, and you know what? For a cyclist — no speed limits. Fantastic!" You can see where this is going...
Cycling under the influence of drink and drugs came next, followed by helmet-wearing and no hi-vis. "I went on a few pavements, went through a few lights, and I went through a group of people really fast, about 45mph [...] quite dangerous really, but it's fantastic because nobody knows who I am so I can do all this. It's impunity..."
Loophole also said there was no bell on the bike (a point disputed by some)...
TalkRadio's Cristo, Mike Graham, Top Gear host turned farmer Jeremy Clarkson and Jeremy Vine were all tagged in the clip shared to his 5,000 Twitter followers. Vine responded saying the video looked like a "cry for help".
The video is the latest social media activity from the lawyer who specialises in getting motorists off driving charges. Last week he came under fire from Vine, Surrey Police's Roads Policing Unit and seemingly almost everyone else on Twitter for a tedious video of a group ride in a two abreast formation, in which Loophole ranted about being held up.
Despite the criticism, Freeman doubled down, saying it was proof "we need mandatory identification for cyclists. Anonymity equals impunity."
Sadly this isn't an opportunity to jet off to Mallorca with Pidcock, Ganna and the rest of the Ineos Grenadiers. But hey, a Zwift ride (or five) is alright, isn't it?
The Ineos boys are out on the Balearic Island this week, starting their preparation for 2022, but will be taking time out to host rides on Zwift, with the first one scheduled for 9am GMT on Wednesday morning with Dylan van Baarle. That's a 'workout' so make sure to have some carbs if you're aiming to keep up with the Dwars door Vlaanderen winner.
Later in the day, at 5pm GMT to be precise, Egan Bernal and Richard Carapaz will be hosting a social ride...just don't ask who's leading the team at the Tour de France...
Thursday's 9am workout will be led by British national champ Ben Swift, before Michał Kwiatkowski and Filippo Ganna take the social spin at half three (British time).
There's one final social ride scheduled for Friday at 9am, which will be led by Watts Occurring duo Luke Rowe and G...full details here...
A group of roughly 40 cyclists in the Brazilian city of Paulista were targeted by a passing motorcyclist who aimed pepper spray at the group. The incident was caught on camera and shared on Facebook by a member of the group who called for an end to violence against cyclists.
One of the cyclists said the attack happened two weeks ago, on November 24, when the biker in the red helmet reached into his pocket before spraying something at the group. Some of the women were left coughing and feeling sick after inhaling the spray but thankfully managed to avoid crashing, regrouping at the side of the road.
— Josh Turner (@Josh_turner13) December 5, 2021
Quite the turnout in the Scottish capital for Dom Whiting's Drum & Bass on the Bike north of the border debut...
We'll link his official vid once it's up so you dnb heads can listen to the full set...
— Ed Hawkins (@edd1e_h) December 5, 2021
Britain’s most decorated Olympian Jason Kenny, who is the owner of seven gold medals, now has his own cycling collection called JK9 which has been created in partnership with HUUB Design.
The kit is designed with the aim of making cycling more accessible and enjoyable to all thanks to aerodynamically-tested fabrics which, according to HUUB Design, have been purposed for real-world speeds and not just optimised for the fast pace of the velodrome.
The Bib Shorts (£129.99) have reduced external seams for optimal aerodynamics and feature HUUB’s 6-panel anatomical cut and four-way stretch fabric for the optimal fit, as well as HUUB’s patented 3D multi-density foam chamois for a comfortable ride. The Short Sleeve Jersey (£99.99) uses wind tunnel-tested sweat-wicking fabrics and the sleeves are bonded for comfort. It also has three regular pockets and a zip pocket for storage, and reflective elements for safety.
Stolen Goat is collaborating with Cycling UK for a new collection to help fund the charity’s campaigns and projects, which are aimed at helping people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities enjoy cycling safely and easily.
The new SG X Cycling UK collection includes Stolen Goat’s Bodyline jerseys, water-repellent Orkaan long-sleeved jerseys and Climb and Conquer winter jackets and matching accessories in two designs: the classic, clean looking Heritage design featuring a navy background with a simple yellow and blue stripe, as well as the Contemporary design with striking geometric lines over a blue-purple gradient fade.
The matching accessories include Orkaan arm warmers, plus neck warmers, turbo towels and even a special Baby Nik plush toy on the way – who saw that one coming?
Super slick and muddy conditions out there 👍 pic.twitter.com/g0S6rKfLQQ
— INEOS Grenadiers (@INEOSGrenadiers) December 4, 2021
Cyclo-cross has been back for a while, but for casual viewers like myself Wout van Aert and Tom Pidcock coming back on the scene was the cue to pay attention again. Van Aert dominated at Superprestige Boom, whetting the appetite for some monstrous head to heads against world champ Mathieu van der Poel over the festive period.
Pidcock had a slower return, finishing seventh, but all most people cared about was how he managed to keep his British national champ's jersey so clean?
"You feel like a numpty every time you do your first race of the year," Pidcock told Ineos Grenadiers' media team afterwards. "I was far away from winning, but I was good. Considering what I’ve done, I’m pleased. I had too many crashes. I’m a bit bruised now, and I’m still struggling to see.
"There are always things you can get, like putting anti-fog on my lenses, but they were still fogging up so I had had to take my glasses off and then I couldn’t see."
In the end, Van Aert made it all look very easy...
🚨 Wout is back! 🚨
— GCN Racing (@GcnRacing) December 4, 2021
Afterwards, two-time UCI World Cup winner Toon Aerts told Sporza, "It is unbelievable what Wout van Aert has done here. We have to be honest, it could be a Christmas without victories." Just wait until Van der Poel's back too...
Wout still had enough energy for a 27kph, 123km off-road blast around northern Belgium yesterday...
Fines were the hot topic on road.cc over the weekend...on Saturday we heard from a commuter in Hemel Hempstead calling for clearer signs after he was fined £80 for riding his bike through an area of the Hertfordshire town where cycling is prohibited.
Then, on Sunday, a reader told us they were fined £75 for cycling through a pedestrian zone outside Highbury & Islington station. However, the main event was pictures of notices left on bikes parked outside the station threatening £50,000 for fly-tipping.
We also had a close pass from a double decker bus driver in Buckinghamshire, Cav talking mental health, a Just Eat delivery rider taking a trip down the M5, and frustrated readers getting in touch about an anti-theft GPS crowdfunder which still has not seen a product delivered more than two years on...
Someone parked in the bike lane. Their vehicle is now blocked in with 200 pounds of water-filled k-rails. pic.twitter.com/UJd53AycQg
— Joshua Davis (@byJoshuaDavis) December 4, 2021
Hopefully you all had a Mr Loophole-free weekend...he's still knocking about with some blog-worthy stuff this morning, so I can't promise he will be gone for too long.
In the meantime, here's a delicious dose of parking karma to brighten up your Monday morning. You inconvenience me and put us in danger, I'll inconvenience you. It's along the same lines as that cyclist from Minneapolis who proved a point about drivers' double standards by blocking the road, mirroring the car parked in the adjacent bike lane. Needless to say the BMW driver behind wasn't too impressed...
Today's karma-delivering rider opted for a more long-term inconvenience, moving the water-filled barriers to form a makeshift 'inconsiderate idiot enclosure'. It took "all my strength" to drag the circa 200lb (90kg) obstacles around the Ford Focus, Joshua told his Twitter followers. Amazing what you can do with the power of pettiness...
The comments didn't disappoint either...
Guess the driver needed more… Focus
— Jeff (@grossman317) December 5, 2021
Judging by the lack of a bumper they're as bad at driving as they are at parking.
— Kyle Huey (@khuey_) December 4, 2021
Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.